Why do Trump supporters ignore his vile behavior?

Photo courtesy of Kamryn Marshall

The commander in chief is at it again. President Trump called American troops “losers” and “suckers,” according to a recent article in The Atlantic. His supporters can’t attest to his behavior and Trump continues to deny any claims that support his falsehoods.

This isn’t the first time we heard the president insult people. Trump has continuously broken the norms of decency and what people generally agree are the moral rules for engagement. His supporters stand as reminders to his awful behavior as they often overlook his offenses to women and people of color — not to mention American troops.

In a 2015 CNN interview with Erin Burnett, Trump talked about his previous comment on immigration when he called Mexicans “rapists” during his run for the presidency. In the interview, Trump supported and defended his statement adding that his slander included “people coming from all over.”

“They’ll soon be coming and probably already have been coming from all over the world. You’re probably going to have terrorists coming from the Middle East,” Trump said. “We have this open border, it’s a sieve, it’s like water pouring through.”

His supporters choose to overlook his bluntness and xenophobic ideology as their beliefs are in line with his agenda. His comments on immigration during the early days of his presidential campaign, were just a spark of what Americans would see during his first term in office.

Trump’s insults don’t stop at immigrants as he has a history of unleashing vile remarks against politicians, journalists and veterans. Some of his supporters are veterans, yet they’re still in for a laugh when Trump comments on John McCain’s “war hero” credentials.

“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said in a 2015 interview at the Family Leadership Summit. “I like people who weren’t captured. I hate to tell you.”

Trump, who didn’t serve in the military, carried the support of those in uniform throughout his campaign. The recent article in The Atlantic isn’t another “fake news” ploy to make the president look bad; Trump already does enough of that on his own. The commander in chief privately criticizes veterans calling them “losers” and “suckers” despite publicly honoring them with praise. Many American troops are apart of his voting base and his comments could be a political risk with the election coming Nov 3.

Reporter Evan Osnos of The New Yorker spoke with Mary Louise Kelly in a National Public Radio podcast about Trump’s call on power brokers within the Republican Party. Osnos discussed an encounter he had with a Trump supporter who held a very powerful position as the head of a Finance Board in Greenwich, Conn. When asked how he felt about the president’s insults against women and immigrants, Osnos was surprised by the supporter’s reply as he paraphrased the encounter during the interview.

“Look, I care about the 60,000 people who live in my town. That’s what I care about,” said Osnos. “I can’t worry about the things outside of that.”

This encounter was striking to Osnos and reveals that Trump’s supporters aren’t truly concerned about America as a whole. The definition of what it means to have responsibility to others may have gotten lost during Trump’s presidency. Republicans and Democrats often disagree, yet the responsibility of the American people remains important.